Sunday, October 13, 2013
Halftime: Steelers 9, Jets 6
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the first half:
1. Old school: The teams combined for five field goals. With two top-10 defenses, what did you expect? This was rock 'em, sock 'em football, as the Jets held the Steelers to 12 rushing yards. Ben Roethlisberger, making like Matt Ryan last Monday night, got hot with the short passing game. They have to figure out a way to stop WR Antonio Brown, who has seven catches for 72 yards. The Jets caught a break when Brown dropped a sure TD pass. Nickelback Kyle Wilson went out with an apparent injury and Big Ben started picking on his replacement, Isaiah Trufant.
2. MartyBall: Showing tremendous respect for the Steelers' defense, Marty Mornhinweg called a very conservative first half. But he loosened the reins in the final minute. Instead of taking a knee in the final minute, as offensive coordinator Tony Sparano did last year at Pittsburgh, Mornhinweg put the ball in Geno Smith's hands and the result was a field goal drive to make it 9-6 game. That could serve them in the second half, giving Smith some momentum.
3. Folk hero. PK Nick Folk continued his hot start, going 2-for-2. That means he's 13-for-13. The way this game is going, it could come down to a Folk field goal attempt.
4. Where are the wideouts? Until the final drive, the Jets' wide receivers had no receptions. The Steelers always do a fantastic job of playing aggressive man-to-man coverage against the wideouts, as they did last season in Week 2. That restricts the offense. Clearly, the team misses TE Kellen Winslow. Jeff Cumberland, thrown into an every-down role, has only one catch for 4 yards.